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ARSCLIST  August 2013

ARSCLIST August 2013

Subject:

Re: backing up a point I made a while back ...

From:

Michael Biel <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 28 Aug 2013 23:37:10 -0700

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (137 lines)

If you or LC go thru the paperwork you will find that NBC did not have
the right in the first place to record and keep the recordings.  I seem
to recall seeing some memos in NBCs files to this effect, not
specifically to BSO. This was in violation of musicians union contracts
and rules because the musicians were not paid specifically for the
recording, only the one-time live broadcast.  If anything, NBC only had
rights in the recording of their employees -- the announcers.  NBC
BOOTLEGGED THE RECORDINGS.  They have no rights to the music unless they
can come up with a contract that includes payment to BSO and the
musicians for the broadcast AND recording.  Check with the AFM local. 
NBC'S FIXATION OF THE RECORDINGS WAS ILLEGAL AND THEY AND THEIR
SUCCESSORS -- LC -- SHOULD HAVE NO GAIN FROM THEIR USE UNLESS PAYMENT IS
MADE TO BSO AND THE MUSICIANS.  BSO OWNS THEM AND SHOULD RECLAIM THEIR
PROPERTY -- THE PHYSICAL DISCS.  Send them a lawyers letter and see how
fast they will let you utilize the recordings to get out of this pickle.
 

I expect we'll here from Sam shortly.  

Mike Biel  [log in to unmask]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] backing up a point I made a while back ...
From: Karl Miller <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Wed, August 28, 2013 10:54 am
To: [log in to unmask]

I agree with Tom. Having argued this point of view for years, I have
found myself at odds with librarians and preservationists...and I spent
over 20 years as a curator of a recordings collection.  

As I recall, there is some provision which allows libraries to record
and preserve news broadcasts. Perhaps someone is more informed than I am
regarding such a provision. 

Forgive me, but I see this situation to be just another example of the
irrational copyright laws. I know...here I go again...I realize that
what I am about to suggest will go against the grain of many, but I
believe that it is appropriate that for tax payer dollars to be used to
preserve a recording, the owner of the copyright must give up ownership
and make it public domain. One can say that this is outrageous, but
unless something really outrageous occurs, I don't see the copyrights
becoming rational and enforceable. It seems to me that there needs to be
a massive public outcry before we will see positive change. If such a
scenario, or other possible scenarios force the issues, then it becomes
a choice of society. It seems to me that the preservation community has
been at cross purposes with society. Basically, Society would say that
preservation is important, but yet it is relatively unwilling to pay for
it, and to support copyright laws which reflect
 the rights of the public.

I am reminded of a recent scenario...as a member of the Board of the
Koussevitzky Recording Society, I have been privy to some discussions
regarding the use of Society funds to redo some Koussevitzky
performances held in the Library of Congress. The "new" copies would be
added to the holdings of the Boston Symphony's collection. Some
questions have been made regarding the ownership of those recordings.
Clearly the BSO owns their own recordings? Maybe, but then maybe not.
The "recordings" were "fixed" by NBC. So, it could be that NBC has some
rights, but yet they did not have rights to the performances. For that
matter, were these recordings ever copyrighted? The Union agreements at
the time provided for the broadcast. But did those agreements allow for
the preservation of those recordings. 

While the Society will be paying for transfers, the Society cannot issue
the recordings. 

It is a no win scenario. What do you do? Do you let our recorded history
disappear, or do you do your best to preserve it when you cannot provide
reasonable access to the public that paid for the preservation.


From my perspective, copyright owners are getting a free ride at tax
payer expense.

Karl





________________________________
 From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] 
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 3:49 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] backing up a point I made a while back ...
 

Right, that was my point -- the charity/subsidized work should be
concentrated on the stuff that's not cash cows for profitable companies
who guard the copyrights with armies of lawyers. Let those folks pay to
preserve their cash cows, and then the LOC's staff and time and
equipment can be better used for the other material. I also said, and I
stand by this statement, that "first draft of history" material, news
and the like, should be first priority over cheezy mass-market
entertainment. Most of those one-off shows didn't survive because they
weren't any good, and it's questionable if they deserve any
preservation. One of the dumber arguments I've seen arguing for
preserving very dubious material is "well it was (pick your now-famous
actor)'s first TV appearance." So? Obviously, (pick your famous actor)
went on to do better work, which is now worth preserving by its
copyright owner.

-- Tom Fine

----- Original Message ----- From: "O'Dell, Cary" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 4:38 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] backing up a point I made a while back ...


> I'm sure that "I Love Lucy" was just used as an example of our collective TV heritage, a way to propel people to care about this entire medium and its preservation.
> 
> But, for every "I Love Lucy" there are hundreds of other series, one-off specials, documentaries, newscasts, commercials and other broadcast material that is not a "cash cow" for anyone but still needs to be preserved by the Library of Congress or any other responsible institution as a document of our past.
> 
> Cary O'Dell
> National Recording Registry
> Library of Congress
> 19053 Mt. Pony Road
> Culpeper, VA  22701
> Phone:  202-707-0394
> FAX:  202-707-0848
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Tom Fine
> Sent: Tuesday, August 27, 2013 4:03 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [ARSCLIST] backing up a point I made a while back ...
> 
> http://articles.latimes.com/2012/sep/20/entertainment/la-et-ct-cbslucy-20120920
> 
> "Lucy" is still a cash cow for CBS! The LOC has no business spending one minute or dime of taxpayer time or money preserving one foot of film for CBS's cash-cow unless CBS is sending big checks to fund the efforts. If the CBS News report on the LOC's extensive efforts with I Love Lucy episodes is correct, they may have unwittingly exposed one of the worst cases of corporate welfare ever documented.
> 
> -- Tom Fine
> 
>

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